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News » Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2009-10-08

Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2009-10-08

Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2009-10-08His time in jail got so boring that, at one point, J.R. Smith was reduced to reading a chemistry book.

The Denver Nuggets guard spent 23 days in jail during the middle of the summer after pleading guilty to reckless driving for a June 2007 accident that killed his passenger and his good friend, Andre Bell.

"Oh, by far," Smith said when asked if it was the most humbling experience of his life. "I was in protective custody. They wouldn't let me interact with anybody. I was on 23-hour lockdown. I was pretty much in there by myself. The whole time you definitely see the difference between freedom and not being free."

While Smith has started training camp with the Nuggets, he will have to wait a bit longer than his teammates before stepping on the floor for a real game. Due to his guilty plea, the NBA suspended him for the first seven games of the regular season.

"It's always tough sitting out," Smith said. "I'm just going to have to have a positive attitude and keep working hard. I think the NBA was fair. They had to come up with some type of penalty."

Smith, 24, hasn't shied away from questions asked about his trying summer. He said it was a great help having Chauncey Billups offer advice. Billups flew to Las Vegas to work out with Smith for the final month of the summer.

"He's definitely my mentor right now, and I pretty much try to follow in his footsteps," Smith said.

During their time together, Billups said he and Smith had a lot of "in-depth conversations about him just growing up." Billups is pleased having seen Smith begin training camp with a "clean slate."

"(Smith) has a great opportunity to be one of the best players in the league," Billups said.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 8, 2009


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